“U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has ruled the state’s ban on assault rifles is legal, after a lawsuit brought against state officials by several pro-gun groups, manufacturers and retailers alleged it was unconstitutional,” wjla.com reports. [Click here for the ruling.] “The judge ruled that the ban on assault rifles and large-capacity magazines was not a violation of second-amendment rights. She agreed that a total ban on handguns, for example, would be a violation of the right to bear arms, but that a ban only on certain types of guns was legal. She said . . .
“The right to bear arms is not unlimited,” adding, “with respect to the types of weapons protected, the Court found that the Second Amendment does not protect ‘a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.'”
She added that the only types of arms protected by the second amendment are “weapons that are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” alleging that assault weapons and those with large-capacity weapons do not fall into that categorization and therefore are not protected by the constitution.
The plaintiffs argued that assault weapons could be used to defend oneself, but the state pointed out that they could not name a single incident in which a Marylander had ever used an assault weapon to defend oneself in a dangerous situation, and neither could the Maryland State Police.
“Therefore, I find the law constitutional,” the court wrote in a statement.
Note: as TTAG has documented, there have been plenty of defensive gun uses involving AR-15-style rifles. Just none in Maryland. Yet.
Anyway, what difference does it make? “Assault rifles” are in common use by law-abiding people for lawful purposes: hunting, target practice, personal defense and defense against tyranny. You know; government officials who seek to deny Americans their natural, civil and Constitutional rights.
Oh wait, one of these is not like the other, apparently. From the opinion:
“Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes, particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right, and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.”
No and no. For the moment at least, the way is now clear for firearms confiscation for all those Free State residents who didn’t register their AR-style rifles by the state-mandated deadline. [h/t MN]